Located in the heart of the Flatiron District, Prandial is a charming newcomer to the area. Once you step inside, you will be greeted by a rustic bar serving refreshingly delicious cocktails, like the Prandial Standard, which is made with Russian Standard Vodka, fresh lime juice, cucumber and mint. Weekdays at the bar feature happy hour from 4-7pm with half price beer, wine, and house cocktails. You can also order some unique dishes from their bar menu while you booze.
Bal Harbour is as recognizable for anyone in Miami as Lincoln Road or Calle Ocho. The highly affluent stretch of Collins Avenue is home to some of the most luxurious residences and also to one of the most luxurious malls in the country, Bal Harbour Shops. While more renowned for it’s designer clothing and jewelry boutiques that include Chanel and Harry Winston, as well as its Neiman Marcus and Saks anchors, the mall is also a destination for the truly savvy gourmand with restaurants like Makoto. Named after Chef Makoto Okuwa who mans the kitchen, this Japanese restaurant has been offering shoppers and culinary connoisseurs inventive fare since it opened its doors a few years ago. Chef Okuwa seems to be in a constant state of creation, and his unique interpretations of Japanese dishes inspire diners to look at one of the world’s most elegant cuisines in an entirely new light.
This year’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival ended with a fun, homegrown party that honored Miami’s growing mobile food culture with a selection of over 20 of South Florida’s most popular food trucks in an event hosted by Andrew Zimmern in Midtown Miami. February 24th’s Trucks on Midtown’s Tracks event, presented by Diet Pepsi, offered the chance for locals to reacquaint themselves with some of Miami’s delicious street food and provided visitors the opportunity to savor some very tasty Miami traditions. The food trucks were pitted against each other as to which truck offered the best dish in a competition judged by everyone in attendance, and with a selection as varied and delicious as what was available this past Sunday, the choice wasn’t easy to make.
Recently there has been an increase in the number of eateries focusing on healthy, clean-eating dishes, as more and more people are forming dietary restrictions and adapting a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle. With so many health-conscious eateries around the city, you no longer need to settle for tofu, bland veggie burgers, and "facon" to have a healthy, satisfying meal. Opening right before Hurricane Sandy, Table Verte in the East Village offers diners of all kinds, an approachable, flavorful meal consisting of market-fresh vegetable dishes using French culinary techniques. Even the most carnivorous meat-eater you know won’t be looking around for a burger after a dinner at Table Verte.
Anyone who has been paying close attention to the culinary trends of right now is very much aware that the next “it” cuisine is that of Peru, a cuisine that has been slowly and quietly trying to break into the American palate for at least a decade. A handful of chefs and food writers had heralded the advent of Peruvian cuisine in this country years ago, but it had been premature, and many food enthusiasts were left waiting for a wave of Peruvian restaurants - both haute and humble - that never seemed to arrive. This country wasn’t ready yet. Not only did we lack the food culture that we have today with all its foodie bloggers and gourmet food trucks, it was almost as if gringos had yet to resolve their issues with Latin American cuisine. Although many Latin Americans were already fans of the varied and sophisticated cuisine of Peru, the general American population still thought that Latino cuisines were either confined inside a tortilla or served with a heap of rice, beans, and plantains. Peruvian cuisine did not fit neatly into any of those compartments. With the rise in Latino chefs and the spread of Nuevo Latino cuisine, Americans began to understand that Latin American cuisines could be elegant and sophisticated and complex. We began enjoying spicier, bolder flavors. We started to become huge fans of ceviche to the point that almost every menu now features it. We were also about to be introduced to a chef who was steadily building momentum in Peru and who would introduce the rest of the world to Peruvian cuisine.
Pennsylvania 6 is a new hot spot parked right near Penn Station (go figure), giving commuters an alternative place to booze and dine. But it's so damn good that we have a feeling locals will be flocking here, too. Hailed as a cross between Oak Room and Oyster Bar, owner Chris Coco brought on Culinary Director Brian Cooke and Chef Scott Swiderski to oversee the creation of the menu. Executive Chef Humberto Leon (formerly of STK Downtown) serves patrons classic American cuisine such as beer braised short ribs and succulent organic roasted chicken. The menu also emphasizes the raw bar, which shells out fresh oysters and shellfish. Pair any dish with their out-of-this-world side dishes, like the sweet corn pudding, and prepare to be in heaven.
Just like the other big cultural festival in Miami, Art Basel, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival consists of a variety of different events simultaneously occurring over a period of several days. The main event every year at SOBEWFF occurs at the Grand Tasting Village right on the sands of Miami Beach with the rolling surf and hot bodies working on their tans only steps away. Hosted this year by Whole Foods Market, the Grand Tasting Village was a sensory overload for any lover of food, wine, and spirits. Besides sampling food from over 35 local restaurants, there were also representatives from vacation destinations, new food and cooking products to try out, cocktails made with some well-known and not-so-well-known liquors, and lot’s of wine. In between getting tipsy and nibbling on tasty morsels, attendees were able to watch cooking demonstrations from some of the most popular TV cooking personalities like Anne Burrell, Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri, Paula Deen, and many others. Occurring over a two day period, here are some highlights from the first day of the Grand Tasting Village on Saturday, February 23rd.
This year’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival kicked off with a bang on February 21st at Moët Hennessy’s The Q, presented by Omaha Steaks and sponsored by Miami Magazine. Previously known as the BUBBLEQ, the shortening of the name has in no way diminished the the grandiosity of this event, the importance of the chefs and cooks participating, nor the quantity of fantastic dishes available to sample. A happy marriage of champagne and barbecue, this year’s The Q was hosted by that queen of indulgent Southern cooking, Paula Deen, along with her sons Jamie and Bobby. The Deen family, however, were not the only celebrities present as foodies were able to meet some of their culinary heroes, like Todd English and Geoffrey Zakarian, as well as sample some of the cuisine that has made them famous. With over 40 of the nation’s top chefs, including many local favorites, it was a delicious challenge trying to sample everything, and while most things were pleasant, there were a few dishes that really stood out.